Potential fines of up to £500,000 for breaking the Data Protection Act by failing to adequately protect information could be a boon for the security industry.
Despite the numerous high-profile cases of data loss in recent years, many organisations continue to be lax about security, particularly in deploying encryption.
But the Ministry of Justice has passed plans that give the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) the power to issue fines. The law will come into force on 6 April, unless blocked by parliament.
Throughout the past two years, the security industry has pressed for encryption on laptops and memory sticks, and this law should provide resellers with a strong sales pitch.
ÒWith 70% of UK firms admitting they were hit by at least one data breach last year, the ICO should have no shortage of businesses to fine," said Jamie Cowper, director of European marketing at encryption specialist PGP Corporation.
"More needs to be done to motivate companies with weak security strategies to shape up. A threat of a £500,000 fine is a powerful motivator," he added.